Every year, companies spend millions and millions of dollars so PR, advertising and all other species of marketing agencies can try to achieve what Southwest Airlines' HR department inadvertently accomplished when they hired this guy:
WARNING. I AM ABOUT TO START TALKING ABOUT MARKETING AND OTHER BORING THINGS.
Videos like this make me think about the state of marketing right now....Despite the fact that nearly every brand has an openly stated desire to embrace social media and empower its employees and organically engage audiences, it's still extremely, disappointingly rare to find a company that would have officially backed an employee-generated stunt like this, and even fewer employees at those companies who would take the initiative to do something this interesting.
That's why is why amazing pieces of content like this video, the one I posted earlier this week from an auto plant and Warren Robinett's infamous Atari Adventure easter egg almost always have to happen organically. And this just reinforces something crucial that's infrequently discussed when brands talk about how they can better engage different audiences, not just through social media but in general. I've been saying it for years, but I think this video proves more eloquently than I could ever articulate that powerful PR begins and ends with powerful, strategic HR.
Who is your company hiring? What kind of attributes do you look for in employees? When screening applicants, does your brand put more of a premium on Experience with a capital "E," or do you look for innate curiosity, people who have a passion about something other than their work? What kind of people have been answering your job listings? How are those job listings written? How much freedom do you give employees to express themselves once they've signed on?
So few brands bother to ask or answer these questions as they think about how they market to consumers. Instead, they hand millions of dollars over to creative professionals who sit around a conference room brainstorming about viral campaigns, trying to pull The Next Big Thing out of thin air between budget meetings.
The reality is, I don't remember a single piece of marketing I've ever seen from Southwest, but I'll remember this video for a long time. When it comes to marketing, brands would do much better if they just found a way to hire more people like David Holmes.